Wednesday , 18 September 2019

Cost of hatchery operations seen to go down via technology for algal paste production

By Development Communication Section

TIGBAUAN, Iloilo – An award-winning technology for algae harvesting is now available in the Philippines, boosting efforts to reduce the cost of producing fish fry in hatcheries through the use of algal paste.

An Evodos dynamic settler unit, using spiral plate technology which won the best harvesting technology for algae in 2015, was recently acquired by the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center/Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC/AQD) here.

Such technology is the first in the Philippines and the third in Asia after Hong Kong and Viet Nam.

Algal paste is an alternative to live algal food for fish larvae, lowering the cost of hatchery operations by eliminating the need for a laboratory facility and algal tanks which are expensive to build and maintain.

This new harvesting equipment that can lower the cost of hatchery production is used to produce algal paste that can be used for all types of microalgae, according to Ms. Annie Franco, leader of the SEAFDEC/AQD Natural Food Commodity Team.  “It is just a simple machine that separates the water from the live culture to produce a concentrated form,” she said.

Moreover, this equipment is more efficient than conventional centrifuges when it comes to the dry weight of the output algae paste which can be used as a starter for algal culture or for direct feeding to fish larvae.

“The Evodos dynamic settler can achieve a dry weight percentage of 200-400 grams per liter as compared to less than 150 grams per liter for other conventional centrifuges,” said Ms. Franco. In addition, the dynamic settler has a separation efficiency of 95 percent and has a 100 percent retention of valuable cell components, leaving the algae intact and undamaged.

According to Ms. Franco, SEAFDEC/AQD’s Larval Food Laboratory is dedicated to serving the microalgal starter needs of hatcheries of the institution as well as the aquaculture industry, academe, and government institutions in the country.

She said that on a daily basis, the laboratory can produce 5-15 kilograms of microalgae paste.

“There will be an improvement in the delivery to the clients as we can send as much as 5 kilograms of paste instead of 20 liters of live microalgae which entail high air freight cost,” she said.

She further explained that clients particularly those located in Luzon and Mindanao can have some savings because of lower freight cost since the microalgae are already in concentrated form.

(see related story on page 4 of this link: https://www.seafdec.org.ph/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/AQD-Matters-September-October-2017_okd.pdf).

SEAFDEC/AQD’s Larval Food Laboratory accepts orders on a first-come-first-served basis. Orders may be sent to Ms. Annie Franco at avfranco@seafdec.org.ph or Ms. Ellen Ledesma at egtisuela@seafdec.org.ph or call (033) 330-7000 local 1129.

The Evodos dynamic settler (left photo) and three units of five-ton culture tanks (right photo) used in microalgae production at SEAFDEC/AQD. Photos courtesy of AV Franco

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